Sunday, October 12, 2014

Insta-Sunday

And just like that another week came and went.

So many beautiful moment amongst the crazy ones.

#strawberrywineandbatman

How this mama rolls.

Mama and munchkin selfie.

Not gonna lie. I'm his biggest fan.

I was struggling with what to do for a boy actor. I just wasn't feeling flowers for him. Then a friend suggested hot wheels! Genius! A hot wheels bouquet was perfect! He LOVED it! And it only cost $6! Holla.

Our Cider Days tradition with Nana and Papa continues!

Tractors, donkey rides, petting zoo, inflatables, barrel train, and making fresh cider! So fun and so freakin' fall!

AJ started his first reconciliation prep. It's so awesome to see him grow spiritually.

I went bowling with my Young Life Capernaum kids. I had one strike and a lot of gutter balls. I was way more into the pizza, breadsticks, and company.

Abby and I went on a special trip just to get Halloween decorations together. It's pretty rare these days to get one-on-one time with the kiddos. She was over the moon and tried to buy the entire Halloween isle. It was super fun to see her so jazzed about decking out our front yard.

Brody loves it. He says, "Our house DECORATED!!!" Every single time we drive up.

My Jamberry hostess rewards came in the mail.

Holy Jamberry Batman! It was like Christmas Day!

This little boy just about bursts with happiness every day.

Out of the blue on the way to school the other day he said,

"I love you mom! I love people! And trees! I love trees! And people's trees! I love people's trees!"

#mylittletreehugger

So why didn't I know Jamba Juice had a pumpkin drink till now?!

#yummo

The kiddos had their Fall Fun Run at school this week.

Together they ran 60 laps.

Andy had initially pledged $4 per lap. What the what?! We'll work out a reasonable pledge total. That is not $240.

Anyway, they were a tired hot mess of a crew that night. Oy vey.

At Abby's Kindergarten parent teacher conference Abby's teacher described Abby as a free spirited artist...someone that will probably always live in the moment and care more about being creative than about academics.
I think she nailed that one on the head.
I'm not gonna lie, the teacher and OCD planner in me struggles with this.
But when I let it go, and just let Abby be Abby, it is a beautiful thing.
#lifewithabby
#abbysmermaids
Fall break officially began Thursday night, and it is an awesome thing.
I rang it in snuggled on the couch with some hot tea and The Lego Movie with the kids.

We spent Friday morning swimming with good buddies.

3 hours splashing and jumping in and going down the slide and lounging in the hot tub and floating in the lazy river.

It was so perfect.
Then the kiddos went to a Nana and Papa's, and Andy and I had a date night...dinner and stocking up on camping supplies.
We had pumpkin creme brûlée for dessert.
It was amazing. It was everything magical about fall in my mouth.
I'm gonna daydream about it for a long time.

I spent Saturday in a CPR and First Aid class. The CPR part of the class was fascinating, and I started thinking that being a rescuer would be really cool...

Then the First Aid part of the class happened.

And during the video my stomach started feeling kinda yucky and my palms began to sweat and it was suddenly really really hot in the room...and I thought oh shit I'm gonna pass out.

So needless to say, if blood is involved I'm no help to you. At all. I pretty much go into shock and medical help myself.

But if there is no blood and you stop breathing or your heart stops, I'm your gal.

After the trauma of the First Aid video, we loaded up Mary Flair, went to bible study, and got a good nights sleep for our big fall break adventure!
We started with a flat tire, but were shortly back on track.
Wheels down by 11:20am.

#mountrushmoreorbust

Friday, October 3, 2014

Insta-Friday October Style

Hello October!!!

You're my most favorite month of the year!

I love the colors in October, and the cool, crisp air and all the pumpkins popping up everywhere and snuggling up in cozy sweaters and wearing skinny jeans with tall boots and getting ready for Halloween!!!

Andy and I had a lunch date at Mod Market last weekend. I had the coconut Thai salad and a cream soda!
Mango peanut dressing, shredded coconut, grilled chicken, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes! So refreshing!

I'm loving these spooky colors against our black front door! So bright and fun and festive!

Burlap and sparkly ribbon! Are you kidding?! So rustic, yet funky at the same time!

I spy a yellow.gingham.button! Sewn on with a contrasting color thread!

Be.still.my.heart.

I mean how seriously charming is that?!

But wait! It gets better!

A vintage floral print!
And trimmed with lavender ribbon...adorn with yellow hearts and some steadfast advice!
My forever MJ *In Search Of* finally surfaced at an awesome price, and I snatched that sucker up!

You know me...I love me some ombré nails with a fun accent!

That rainbow leopard print takes me back to my days of Lisa Frank folders and notebooks in elementary school.

Lisa Frank was all that back in the day.

Yeah, so I love fall. But not terrifying freak hail storms.

Seriously Colorado?!

Another new roof?! Our roof is only ONE YEAR OLD from the last hail storm.

And $2,000 worth of damage to the swagger wager. Not.cool.

#blah

October 1st meant MJ had their third release for their fall line.

It was full of purple.

I'm a sucker for purple.

And this corduroy skirt is just frolicking in a field of flowers on a crisp fall day made manifest in a piece of clothing.
I had to have it.
End of story.

This boy plays hard and crashes hard.

Love him up.

I'm not gonna lie, one of my fave parts of teaching religious ed is planning and making crafts.

This cutie pie tough guy Munchkinlander had his opening night this week.

2 performances down, 3 to go.

You might see this kid on Broadway one day. Ya never know.

Ab loves Fancy Nancy. I love Fancy Nancy.

I love that Ab loves Fancy Nancy.

Mmmmmm. Vanilla Spice.
With the promise of energizing the body and focusing the mind!
Sign this mom up stat!
Jade ruffles.
Leopard print flats.
Pretty much the most awesome outfit ever.
So two of my favorite things collided, and this happened.
#halloweenjamberrynails

A ruffle.

A pocket.

A cute button.

Funky Halloween prints.

All in one bag.

My undying love.

True story.

Have a great weekend!

I'm going to watch that Munchkinlander on stage, make some homemade cider, hang out with family, praise the Lord, and watch some football.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Insta-Friday

Whew! What a week.

Abby had her first AHG service project last weekend. It was awesome to see her put herself out there to help other people. Love American Heritage Girls!

She collected pencils to send to Kenya.

We had lunch at my fave place. Blue raspberry NERDS slush.

#yummo

Ab said, "Hey, I have a fry brow."
#hilarious

After lunch we ventured out to find a spot for family pictures coming up this weekend. It was fun to just drive and explore.

We live in a beautiful state.

These pictures are going to be epic. I can hardly wait!!!

I'm feeding my obsession and having an on-line Jamberry party.

Love love LOVE Jamberry!

Seriously fun, practical for a busy mama, and way less than going out for a mani or pedi. And they don't chip. And you don't have to wait for them to dry. And there's hundreds of fun designs. I could go on and on.

Ab went to store to buy food for a local food pantry. She picked out some super fun food. Love to see her grow in her passion for service.

Things I do while the kids are in school. I do laundry too....sometimes.
#schoolpictures
They are growing up.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Insta-Friday...A Long Wordy One

Seriously, I should just change this blog name to Insta-Perspective because Insta-Friday is about all that happens on this dusty 'ol blog now a days. Whatevs. I'm cool with that. Insta is better than nothing. #fosho

This week was exhaustingly full...fall into bed dog tired every night kind of full. But a good fall into bed dog tired exhausting.

When I feel like I'm going to collapse from a full calendar, and a tiny whisper in the back of my head wants to back down from so many commitments or my self-imposed high expectations, I think to myself if my life isn't about giving with everything I've got...then what is it about?

One of my mantras is your life is your message. I don't think we were created to stick to ourselves. We are social creatures. I think we were created to love and show love. I want my kids to see a family of service and become strong individuals that humbly give as well. Fatigue from from a full calendar and a never ending to-do list is a fulfilling fatigue. A good kind of exhaustion.

And the truth is, I cannot sit still. Even when I try to simplify, I seek connecting with people and reaching out...and end up with more on my calendar and to-do lists than I had before. It's who I am. It drives me crazy sometimes...a lot of times...feeling like I need to do more, but not knowing if I can handle what I've got. It's in my nature to push through and go all the way...and keep going.

And occasionally there are fleeting moments when it's so fulfilling I feel like my heart could explode. And my exhaustion is validated and the joy from it takes me through the next bout of meetings and events and tantrums and potty practices...

It's a beautiful cycle really.

Last weekend I ventured to a Young Life leader weekend with a van full of awesome people and spent two days bonding and becoming inspired about just doing life and talking about Jesus with young people.

It was relaxing and comforting and energizing. I left feeling excited and refreshed to share life with young people. To be there for young people. To be a positive, reinforcing voice amongst the chaos of all the mixed messages they are constantly bombarded with.

On multiple occassions lately I have observed what is going on during a high school lunch hour in a crowded fast food restaurant, and my heart hurts for the way people interact and respond to one another.

People need to see and hear and experience love and positive values. We need to teach our teens how to treat others with dignity and respect and how to react when others don't. And I think it goes beyond just teaching our own children. I'm sad for the ones that do not experience in their homes. And the truth is our kids will experience them outside of our homes. Simply guiding our own kids isn't enough. I think we are called by our social nature to do more. It is written on our hearts.

If you know many Abby stories, then you know we need all the help we can get raising this feisty one up right. She seems to naturally rebel against authority. To push her boundaries. To knee-jerk react. To live in her own world of pixies.

She's a passionate spirit that one.

So we are always looking for ways to instill and reinforce humility and empathy and compassion and perseverance and self-discipline and respect and reverence in this one.

Oh Girlfriend worries her mama.

So when we learned about American Heritage Girls, a Christian-based scouting organization, we instantly knew without.a.doubt that Abby needed it in her life.

The problem was, there was not a Kindergarten Pathfinder unit leader. So what does a mama do? Well, she steps up and leads a Kidergarten Pathfinder unit. It was totally up my ally anyway. #itwasinevitable #girlfriendneedsthis #itsinmynature

I eat this stuff up. Anything with a fun theme...for a good purpose...has potential to be crafty...is girly in the slightest is pretty much my M.O.

AHG was meant for Abby...and her mama.

On the first night I passed these out to my unit girls. Abby is down right convinced this Chapstick is magical and she cannot speak evil when she is wearing it. I love it!

If only it had long-lasting coverage that she couldn't lick off because it tastes like cotton candy...

Be.still.my.heart.

Halloween.Cheetos! Are you kidding me?!

Seriously. This was the most fun gift ever to be gifted to me.

I was down right giddy to bust into this bag. I mean like a child.

I love Halloween. I love junk food. It's the truth. I do.

I l.o.v.e. this kind of stuff.

I mean a boring homemade lunchable is transformed into a party, and the kids are gobbling it down like crack.

This my friends is priceless to a stay-at-home maker of lame lunches!

I'm not gonna lie...my lunch plate looked just the kids' plates that day.

Shout out to my friend that knows me so well! You freakin made my day that day!

Halloween Cheetos. That's all it takes.

#itsthelittlethingsinlife #likebagofbonescheetos #holla

Oh Jamberry. You have ruined regular nail polish for me. For life. It's just no longer good enough.

Girlfriend got her first diary this week. It was pretty sweet to watch her cherish that little lock and keys. She drew it it and demanded a picture to glue in there. She wrote her name and the three sight words she can spell and her ABC's. It was awesome to watch her feel so grown up and empowered because of that little book.

On a side note...I'm kinda terrified what her diary might hold in ten years. Hopefully it will just be a log of her AHG badges she earns...right.

She really wants to be independent. I really try to enable that independence...when it's a good place for it. It's really hard sometimes.

Spills happen. They just happen. And they are fixable. Even the thick chocolate syrup kind are fixable.

Lord have mercy on this mama's soul.

So....long story short, we needed to put a system in place to encourage my pixie-loving, strong-willed, AHG-going Girlfriend to be good and stay on green at school.

Bribery is a significant part of parenting. No matter what you say you will or will not do as a parent before you have kids...I believe (because parenting is oh so humbling) there will come a day when you say...fill in the blank...If you...we will...

It may go something like this...

If you stay on green for ten days...we will go to the arcade.

And then you may find yourself shooting zombie pirates with your 5 year old daughter...

#dontjudge

#youdowhatyougottodo

Love it when the putinias get replaced by mums.

#signsoffall

#eventhoughitisstillninetydegreeseveryday

#whatgivescolorado

It's getting real. Play rehearsals have transitioned into dress rehearsals. And I love it! Every stinkin' thing about it! From the fact that when this boy was an infant I used to call him my little Munchkinlander...to that fact that his red hair is spot on as a tough guy munchkin...to the fact that he gets to be part of the cast party after 4 full performances...to the fact that he is learning the rewards to how all this hard work pays off. It's such an awesome experience to watch him be a part of.

I love clothes. I do. I can't help it. I think putting together coordinating outfits is crazy fun. I get sucked in every time. I say...oh I'm going to skip this release...and then somehow I find myself looking at the FB boards...then trying on a sweater...and it all goes downhill from there. It's a guilty pleasure. I love soft, cozy, comfy mama clothes. And I love anything with a vintage look. MJ pretty much has my number. It's my kryptonite. My soft, comfortable, stinkin' cute, cozy kryptonite!

This cracked me up. A tasting chart for Brody.

He liked every kind of apple they tried at preschool. Ha!

Imagine that.

I have yet to find a food that kid does not like.

#threeyearoldfoodie

From YL to AHG to PTO and more this week. It was action packed.

Donuts with dads was a total success. Dads...kids...music...a Bronco tickets raffle...spirit wear sales. It was fun. We have an awesome school community. Good people. Dedicated families. All in it for the kids. It feels good to be a part of such neat connected community. I used to be intimidated to be involved. But we are all in it for the kids. Nothing to be intimidated by about that. People are good people when you put yourself out there to know them.

After a Donuts with dads, Brody had his three year old well check, then he requested chicken nuggets and chocolate milk so we stopped by Chick-fil-a for a mama and Brody date...followed by a trip to the library. I love our special time together, just us. These kids have my heart I tell ya. My whole heart.

Let us not forget that today is one of my absolute most favorite days of the year...Talk Like A Pirate Day!!! We rocked our pirate attire with pride me hearties for some (3 dozen) free Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

I love that we have such awesome friends that are willing to go on these adventures with us! I'm so not above dressing up for free food. Pirate and cow costumes are an investment if you ask me.

This week was all over the place from regular drop offs and pick ups to ballet to an AHG meeting to a canceled Young Life event to a religious ed meeting to a sacraments meeting to preparations to launch a Box Tops contest. It was cray cray. Totally cray cray.

But it was totally worth it...

As St. Francis of Assisi said, "For it is in giving that we receive."